By Kevin McGuire

With the New York Giants coming down to Philadelphia next week in desperate need for a win, the Giants may want to take to the air as much as possible to overcome a rough running game. With that being the possible case, the Philadelphia Eagles could be in for some trouble with a banged up defensive secondary heading into Week 3 of the NFL schedule, and the home opener for the Birds after a 1-1 start to the season.

Three players from the Eagles’ secondary are officially out for this weekend’s NFC East battle with the Giants. With starting cornerback Ronald Darby still out with a bad ankle injury from the season opener, safeties Corey Graham (hamstring) and Jaylen Watkins (hamstring) will each join him in inactivity this weekend. Both players have been ruled out of action for this weekend’s game at Lincoln Financial Field after not practicing at all this week.

The lone glimmer of hope for the secondary this week is the possible availability of safety Rodney McLeod (hamstring). McLeod returned to the practice field on Friday, but only in a limited capacity as he recovers from his own hamstring problem. The Eagles officially have McLeod listed as a game-time decision. If McLeod is unable to go on Sunday afternoon, then the Eagles could be in for some trouble defending the pass against Eli Manning, Brandon Marshall, and Odell Beckham Jr. if the offensive line can give Manning any time to breathe.

If McLeod is unavailable, the Eagles may have to insert Chris Maragos into action. Maragos is listed as the team’s only third-string option at the safety position. The Eagles did pick up some possible help if needed with the addition of Trae Elston, otherwise, the Eagles may have to stretch some of their options from the cornerback and linebacker position to get through this week.

Eagles wide receiver Torrey Smith has also been questionable this weekend as he fends off an illness. He may be a game-time decision as well.

Backup defensive tackle Destiny Vaeo remains out with a wrist injury. He has been slotted as the main backup to Fletcher Cox on the team’s depth chart. If Cox needs a breather, expect Beau Allen or Elijah Qualls to fill in.


  • S Rodney McLeod (hamstring)
  • WR Torrey Smith (illness)


  • CB Ronald Darby (ankle)
  • S Corey Graham (hamstring)
  • S Jaylen Watkins (hamstring)
  • DT Destiny Vaeo (wrist)

Kevin McGuire is a Philadelphia area sports writer and college football editor for The Comeback and host of the No 2-Minute Warning PodcastFollow McGuire on Twitter and like him on Facebook.